NPA at the party political conferences
Once again, the NPA will be flying the flag for independent community pharmacy at the three UK-wide political parties’ annual conferences.
The aim is to remind activists, MPs and the wider policy- influencing community that pharmacy offers solutions to many of the big challenges facing the health service. It is also an opportunity to identify potential allies, nurture existing relationships and ensure we are in touch with the latest developments in the political sphere ahead of the return of Parliament.
We are partnering with well-known institutions in UK party politics to amplify our voice in a series of conference events: The Centre for Policy Studies (Conservative conference), the Fabian Society (Labour) and Lib Dems in Business.
All the events are timely for informing discussions on the development of the NHS 10 Year Plan. Indeed, this will be the specific topic at the Conservative event (October 1st, Birmingham), to be moderated by Telegraph health editor, Laura Donnelly. NPA board member Nick Kaye will be on a panel that also includes NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson and MPs.
The NPA welcomed the announcement earlier this year of a long term plan for the NHS, and the associated five year boost to funding, which is long overdue. It is an opportunity to innovate but also to unlock the potential of existing infrastructure and workforce. Any truly ambitious plan should therefore include community pharmacy, which has the potential to transform primary care, reduce medicines waste and massively improve access to NHS services.
In the box opposite is a reminder of what the NPA has said are the rights tests for the success or otherwise of the 10 year plan. If you agree that these are the right measures of success, or if you do not, please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we can then pass your thoughts on to conference delegates!
At the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton (17 September), the panel will consider the role that business can play in a healthcare system that is centred on people and anchored in communities. Participants will include Baroness Jolly, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for health, and Lord Fox, Liberal Democrat Lords spokesman for business, enterprise and industrial strategy. NPA board member Reena Barai will speak about the role of community pharmacy both as an employer and as a provider of health services to employers.
A week later, on September 24, the NPA’s Nick Kaye will be at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool for a Fabian Society fringe event entitled Community Health: is there a future for localism in public health? The panel will include Ben Bradshaw MP, health and social care select committee member and Julie Cooper MP, shadow health minister. They will debate the future of community health and explore questions of decentralisation, leadership and integration, and options to ensure the wellbeing of patients and communities.
All three of the events will be available to view live on the NPA website.